DIVERT PROGAM DISCONTINUED
Please be aware that the DIVERT program has been terminated by Mike Anderson, the new District Attorney of Harris County, Texas as of January 2, 2013. This should not have been a surprise to anyone that followed his campaign because ending DIVERT was one of his campaign promises. The District Attorney's Office will allow anyone that is in the program to continue, but will monitor these people even more closely for removal. There may be other avenues to keep a DWI conviction off your record. It is a bittersweet end to the program for me.
Understanding the DIVERT Program
In September of 2009, Harris County implemented a new program, Direct Intervention Using Voluntary Education, Restitution and Treatment – also commonly referred to the DIVERT program. This program has to date taken on over a thousand clients and evaluated over two thousand potentials. Simply speaking, this program allows for defendants who have been convicted of a first-time DWI offense to partake in this program for the chance to have their charges expunged. Participation in the program lasts for two years and includes supervision, counseling and mandatory sobriety. It also includes mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle and sixteen hours of community service and even includes small details, such as a 10 p.m. curfew, that must be followed to the letter if the defendant hopes to get their charges expunged.
Should I participate in the DIVERT program?
It is impossible to give a blanket answer to this question. The DIVERT program can seem to be too good to be true, a second chance at life – and for some, it may very well be. For many, this program gives them the chance to forgo incarceration and to work towards getting charges expunged, however, the guidelines are harrowingly strict. Even the smallest of mistakes could mean that all the work was for naught and you could find that you have landed in jail regardless of the steps you've taken to protect yourself. For instance, even receiving a traffic ticket (which is typically nothing to worry about) could be seen as a violation of the contract.
DWI Attorney Serving Houston, Texas
If you have recently been criminally charged for driving under the influence, it is highly encouraged that you seek the legal experienced of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. At the Martinez Law Firm, we know the tricks of the trade and the steps that can be taken to help you protect your best interests. We know how this program has affected the way in which DWI cases are tried and we are fully prepared to help you through the process as effectively, painlessly and quick as humanly possible.
Should you choose to be represented by a criminal lawyer from our firm, you will be able to rest easier knowing that you will have an advocate on your side that is intimately knowledgeable about the law and fully prepared to help you obtain the just outcome that you deserve. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible – the sooner that you get us involved, the sooner that we will be able to evaluate your case and determine all of your legal options.